Slow Test-Takers and USMLE Lovin'


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2006
Hi People.
I'm a slow tester-taker with a short and undiagnosed attention span issue. I either go too fast because my attention span is too short or I go too slow because I lose my concentration and have to read a question twice.
I find myself reading lots of the UWorld questions twice.
I know, it's a no-no on test day.
A fair chunk of people have posted (in the 2009 experiences thread) that they were caught off-guard by the timing of the exam and finished with seconds left to spare.
Should I buy diapers now or suffer anxiety and incontinence after the exam?
Seriously, anyone who took the exam, preferibly slow test-takers, was timing an issue because you're slow or because it was the "real thing?"
PS: My concentration issues also make it such that I am constantly looking at the damn timer. I usually try to do UWorld such that I complete 12 questions every 15 minutes and gain some time toward the 3rd quarter of the set. Chime in people.


7+ Year Member
May 7, 2009
  1. Resident [Any Field]
Okay, I'll bite.

Relatively slow test-taker here. Never understood the need for people to race through medical school exams. A few people I know prided themselves during first-year on being "the first one finished" (as though they win a prize or something) then practically cry when the answers get released and they "misread a question". *violin*

I've been slow in every medical school exam. Almost run out of time, every single time. It's almost like there's just no avoiding it. Genetically, I must come from a line of very very SLOW people or something.

What helped me most was, as you said, "racing" through the UWorld blocks of 48, timed. In the second half of my study period, I began forcing myself to end the block at the 5:00 mark, no matter how comfortable I was with my answers. Keep doing this over and over, maybe start it sooner than I did. It will help.

If you're traditionally slow, just accept it going into the exam that you're only going to be getting the maximum 1 hour of break time, I banked literally no extra time on my exam and actually ran out of time during the survey at the end. It is also ESSENTIAL you don't waste more time on that tutorial than necessary on test day. You WANT that break time.

Hope this helps.
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